Monday, 1 December 2014

Memories of Living Under War and Occupation

While I was away the past twelve days learning how to meditated I noticed that whenever my mind wanders during meditation, it always went back to my memories and my childhood in Palestine. I remembered things, I couldn't believe I had forgotten. Here is what I remember in chronological order.

1989- age 3 
First Palestinian Uprising 

My earliest memory as a child was when I was 3 years old, and it was during the 1st Palestinian uprising. The Israeli Occupy Forces (IOF) used to come to our home to search for youth that were throwing stones at them during clashes. It was common for the youth to seek refuge in peoples home or use it to get from one safe place to another without being on the main road. My mother would always hide them in our house and then when it was safe enough for her to leave would drive them home. Whenever the IOF would come to our home my mom would say to me "the Jews are coming" "the Jews are coming" and I would run under the table in our living room to hide until they left. I of course our of fear would always pee my pants when I was under the table. 

1990- age 4
Gulf War 

When we would hear the alarm siren go on that indicates that the bombing was about to begin, my parents, sister, brother, and my paternal grandmother who was living with us at the time would all come to my sister and I's room. It was the safest in the house. We had the the windows and door sealed with duct tape, we had stocked up on enough food for at least 1 week and we had buckets to use when we had to go to the bathroom. Amin my brother had a Canary bird that was in the veranda outside my room and he would listen for any noise it would make; we knew that if it made noise it was still alive and we were not hit with chemical gas. However, to be safe my dad would drench towels in Clorox that we would have to keep on our nose, because he believed that if we were hit with chemical gas that that would save us, but my dad would put so much Clorox on the towels that my mom would say if you didn't die for chemical gas, you will sure enough die from inhaling too much Clorox. During the war my parents tried to get gas masks from the U.S embassy but there was a long wait to get them. Finally we got a hold of one gas mask. My dad couldn't decide which one of his children he should give it too so he decided to give it to my grandmother. My mother immediately got upset and stated that if her kids didn't get gas masks then no one gets gas masks and we die together. Finally, my parents decided to leave to the U.S for a couple of months hoping the war would be over by then. On the day we were getting ready to leave to the airport we finally got our gas masks form the U.S embassy and they were expired. 

1993- age 7 
Oslo Agreement

I remember exactly where I was during the time it was declared. I was in my uncle's apartment in Ramallah and him and all my cousins were sitting in his bedroom watching the news. I remember the energy of people in the city was hopeful people wanted peace. However, my mother being the realist that she is wasn't hopeful at all. I remember her saying "when the Israeli's punch you in the face it hurts, wait until your own people start doing it to you" and she as usual was right. 

** More updates tomorrow. Second Palestinian uprising and beyond. 

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Souls Connecting

Your voice so smooth. I can feel my heart expanding, making room for you.

You remind me of things I've lost and things I've found.

Your heart, so pure, puts my heart at ease.

Your words, tell me stories about love and lovers... life and death... and it all makes me feel so alive.

I ask you how long will you stay? You tell me I'm asking the wrong questions.

I smile, because I know what you mean... and you smile back.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Words Attempting to Find Themselves

Heart beat, listening... as you sleep.

Thoughts. Sleepless... consumed.

Intimacy, longing and belonging... alive.

Truth, truth, truth, say it...repeat it.

Trust, loyalty, betrayal, heartbreak, love break... repetition.

Confused, road unknown, moving forward... no option.

Time, too fast, aging... frightened.

Disappointments. God... silence.

Life, body, beauty... all in transit.

Forgiveness... forgive me.

Compassion. Breathe... heart expanding.

Secrets heavy. Darkness... still love.

Brightest... at your darkest.

Selfish. Learning selflessness....liberating.

Missing warmth. Between your arms... Fit perfectly.

Your heart beat. My lullaby... as I dream.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Learning is a Slow Process

I want to learn how to love, a love that is liberating.
I want to learn how to love, a love that is beyond possession.
I want to learn how to love, a love that is beyond fear and pain.
I want to learn how to love, a love that is pure and innocent.

I want to learn how to love you, all of you at your darkest and at your brightest.

And I want to learn how to accept that same love in return.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Morning Maze

Sunday morning, struggling to get out of bed. Trying to find a reason to start my day, but no reason seems good enough. I attempted getting out of bed twice, I walked to the kitchen, noticed the huge pile of dishes and then walked back to bed. I then laid there trying to figure out how to get out of bed again, and I thought if I have some coffee, perhaps it will give me the strength I need to start my day, but making the coffee required sorting through the dishes. It required dealing with the chaotic situation that existed in the kitchen, and I did not know how to maneuver through it all, it took too much energy already, so I went back to bed again, and closed the door.

Today seems to be harder than most days. Today there is nothing that I can say to myself that can soothe my aching heart enough to get myself out of bed. Darkness consumes me today, and it frightens me... I am a strong willed person, and I know that I will try again, but for now I will close my eyes and hope to dream of a place where breathing comes easy and my soul is light.

Update from later today:

I did eventually make it out of bed. A friend of mine did the dishes, made me some coffee, and did a good job at distracting me from my thoughts. Another friend who lives in another state, texted me saying "I thinks I found a way out of the maze", she (and I truly believe this woman could rule the world all on her own) looked up yoga exercises for me, that were conveniently near by and free; knowing that I probably wouldn't go if I had to travel too far or if I had to pay. She thought that yoga would help me breathe more easily and will lighten the weight of my soul.

I am so blessed to have people that are so thoughtful and kind in my life.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Saba7 El Khair

I have my graduation picture that we took together on my desk in my room. Right next to it is your watch that still deeps every hour. Every morning I look at it, and I close my eyes trying to remember the sound of your voice whenever I would see you in the mornings. Our conversation used to go like this:

Me: Saba7 el khair dad.
You: Saba7 el noor ya 7elwati ya chil 7ali... ta3li hon khaleeni ashofek.

And I would get closer to you, annoyed at how loud your voice was in the mornings, and annoyed that you had to hug and kiss me EVERY morning (it was always 3 kisses). Looking back now, I don't know how you had the energy to show so much excitement every time you saw me, I am never that excited about anything.

You used to tell me that I was very special, but you were really the special one dad.

Monday, 13 February 2012

When are we going home?

The cancer was spreading rapidly. Your pain intensified, and the doctors had to put you on morphine. That's when I first felt that I had lost you forever. You were going in and out of consciousness, your speech became incoherent, and your thoughts were scattered. The only thing you repeatedly kept asking is, "wenta bedna nraw7 3al balad (when are we going home?)", and all I could say to you is, soon... when you get some rest, we will go home.

#LoveUnderAparthied is not being able to give the person you love the things that they want.

My father Mamoun Husain, came to the US in August of 2011 seeking medical treatment for pancreatic cancer after being misdiagnosed in Palestine. My father had to travel outside his own country to seek medical treatment because of inadequate healthcare in Palestine, and racist Israeli laws that prevented him access to more advanced hospitals in Jerusalem (which were only 40 minutes away). My father died on December 4th, 2011, his final wish was to die in his own country, in his own home, where he raised his family and grew old.